In recent technology nodes, advanced process and novel integration scheme have challenged the precision limits of conventional metrology; with critical dimensions (CD) of device reduce to sub-nanometer region. Optical metrology has proved its capability to precisely detect intricate details on the complex structures, however, conventional RCWA-based (rigorous coupled wave analysis) scatterometry has the limitations of long time-to-results and lack of flexibility to adapt to wide process variations. Signal Response Metrology (SRM) is a new metrology technique targeted to alleviate the consumption of engineering and computation resources by eliminating geometric/dispersion modeling and spectral simulation from the workflow. This is achieved by directly correlating the spectra acquired from a set of wafers with known process variations encoded. In SPIE 2015, we presented the results of SRM application in lithography metrology and control , accomplished the mission of setting up a new measurement recipe of focus/dose monitoring in hours. This work will demonstrate our recent field exploration of SRM implementation in 20nm technology and beyond, including focus metrology for scanner control; post etch geometric profile measurement, and actual device profile metrology.
CD uniformity requirements at 20nm and more advanced nodes have challenged the precision limits of CD-SEM metrology, conventionally used for scanner qualification and in-line focus/dose monitoring on product wafers. Optical CD metrology has consequently gained adoption for these applications because of its superior precision, but has been limited adopted, due to challenges with long time-to-results and robustness to process variation. Both of these challenges are due to the limitations imposed by geometric modeling of the photoresist (PR) profile as required by conventional RCWA-based scatterometry. Signal Response Metrology (SRM) is a new technique that obviates the need for geometric modeling by directly correlating focus, dose, and CD to the spectral response of a scatterometry tool. Consequently, it suggests superior accuracy and robustness to process variation for focus/dose monitoring, as well as reducing the time to set up a new measurement recipe from days to hours. This work describes the fundamental concepts of SRM and the results of its application to lithography metrology and control. These results include time to results and measurement performance data on Focus, Dose and CD measurements performed on real devices and on design rule metrology targets.